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Friday, June 5, 2015

Orbits, Doors and Porches

It's been more than 3 years since the tabernacle looked like this.  
This morning the temple looked like this.
In April of 2012, archaeologists were just finishing their excavation of the original tabernacle.
Samuel Jepperson created this painting of that structure, which stood just north of the tabernacle we knew.
This lintel stone was above the entrance to that tabernacle, which was begun not long after the pioneers arrived in Utah Valley.
For many years the lintel stone stood at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum on 5th West.  It will soon be moved to this new slab which I discovered this morning.  The historic Ten Commandments monument is just past this, at the right of this picture.
I have been revisiting old pictures because blog reader Geneil Harris told me that the level of some of the temple entrances has changed.
I took a short history lesson to better understand what she was teaching me.  This is a photo of the south entrance which I took when the tabernacle had been secured after the fire.
Can you see that the threshold was much lower than it is now?  The level of the porch was closer to the bottom of the watercourse.
The south entrance is now well-designed to be accessible to everyone, with ramps rising to the temple entrance.
The former walk extended out to stairs which led down to First South.
The new entrance is a little tricky to see, but the threshold is now at the top of the watercourse.
Obviously there is a lot in the way right now.
I borrowed this photo from a March 2014 post, which shows the new level of the entry.
I had fun looking at these construction photos.
I have learned that I only see things if I am looking for them.  The original foundation of stones, which the pioneers had piled in a trench, was in front of my eyes in many pictures, but I didn't know what I was seeing.
The watercourse was originally plaster.
The new watercourse of the temple is beautiful quartzitic sandstone quarried from Heber Valley.
Notice how the stairs used to rise along the east side.
A wall ran between the east entrance and University Avenue.
Supports for the brick are blocking the east side in this picture, but the original doorway was the same size that it is today.
This 1925 picture shows the grace of the former east entrance.
Once the shell of brick had been stabilized with rebar and shotcrete, all the porches were stripped away.
The new east side stairs are very different than they were for the tabernacle.  All the ground level doorways, except for the south entrance, are now emergency exits only.
Handrails had been added to the tower entrances.
The new tower entrances will all have quartzitic sandstone over the underlying concrete.  Cores in the cheek walls have been removed for handrails.
The west side has undergone a dramatic change.  The temple president's office is behind the three lower art glass windows in the gable wall.
The west side had an awning over its entrance, shown here on the left.
Performers and tardy choir members could use this entrance and wait in a room under the organ chamber.
The fire began in the rafters near the west end and burned the hottest here, severing the connecting beams to the west gable.  That is why it survived.
The other gables fell in when the roof collapsed, but of course all have now been restored.
A beautiful sealing room now fills the space behind the west gable windows, which were never actually windows. There is no longer an entrance on this side of the building.
The green tents are providing a little shade for the masons, who this morning and later this afternoon used them as protection against the rain.
Geneil told me that the north tabernacle entrance was level with the walk.  I didn't believe her.
She sent me this picture which she took the day of the groundbreaking.
She was right.  There were no stairs on the north side of the tabernacle.
It took me awhile to figure out how the north side could now have a porch.
When the shell was stabilized, the threshold of the north entrance was raised from the bottom of the watercourse to the top, just as it was on the south side.
The workmen built a little style over the new concrete wall so they could enter the building from the original walk.
The ground level was then lowered so the shell of bricks could be placed on piers.
This was how the building looked in January 2013.  I remember thinking that was pretty high, even though the building hadn't actually moved.
A month later, the building was wide open.
This morning, there was new concrete on top of the north stairs.
The porch was poured, and the orbital walk is now complete around the temple.
There is a temple standard, and while I know that close is sometimes not good enough, I'm not sure how this is part of the solution.  Someone does, though.  I'm sure.
I took quite a few pictures of the new walk on the east side.  Some were taken under clouds and some with sunshine.
The walk is level here.
It sweeps serenely along the east side.
Then it rises to meet the walk coming from the stairwells to the underground garage.
If we meander a bit, we can get to the pavilion.
Trim continues to go up.
I spied new trim along the soffit, too.
My camera caught something interesting behind the newest lights.
This is an anemometer.
Andrew Gibson took this picture of the Provo Temple's anemometer.
When the wind gets too high, the anemometer shuts off the fountain.
There was no wind today.
There was also no water, at least in the fountain.  For a desert, we have received a lot of welcome rain.
More dirt was delivered today.
I have been told that more trees are on their way.  A lot more.
I'm still watching for sod.
And summer, which is just around the corner.
It's going to be a great summer.  I can tell.

9 comments:

Brian said...

Favorite comment: " I'm not sure how this is part of the solution." Someday we will know.

Katshrnk said...

Excellent work! I'm so happy you are doing this because it's the only way I'd get to see the progress. Thanks?

Cole Robison said...

I'm curious about the pictures from 3 years ago which you linked to. Is the foundation of the old tabernacle still there buried there? Or did they bury it for the groundbreaking and dig it up after? I can't tell from those old posts.

Julie said...

My memory is that half of the foundation of the original tabernacle is gone. It would have been where the underground annex is now. The rest of the foundation was simply covered over.

Easy_Going_Dad said...

I saw copper roof paneling installed on the pavilion cupola yesterday evening. I can't wait to see what the pavilion looks like once all the roofing and white trim is on.

Julie said...

I've been watching for the copper and was told when the cupola was finished, I might see it go up. It's still not visible from the cam. Thanks for this information!

Judy said...

The open house and dedication dates have just been announced! Here's the link: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/open-house-announced-for-provo-city-center-temple

Easy_Going_Dad said...

A two month open house, and dedication date set for March 20th! Hooray!!!!!!

Julie said...

What great news!